Raising more than £9,000 for a multiple sclerosis charity.

Team Vanilla has raised more than £9,000 for a multiple sclerosis charity after completing a gruelling marathon walk.

Twenty-five walkers from enterprise software specialists Vanilla Solutions took on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge – a 24-mile hike that involves climbing the tallest mountains of Yorkshire, Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, in 12 hours. The total assent is more than 5,200ft.

“Most of us finished the Challenge, but it was tough,” explained organiser Paul Darwin, Head of Consulting at Vanilla Solutions, who have offices in North Lincolnshire and Newcastle.

“We started at 6.30 am in the morning and some of us finished just under ten hours later – although others were a bit quicker. There were numerous blisters, various bad knees and a lot of aching muscles, but the vast majority of us completed the challenge,” he added.

The Team Reach A Peak Summit

Paul chose the Multiple Sclerosis Society charity in memory of an aunt who suffered from the condition for 30 years.

“We had walkers from all over the country, Bristol to Newcastle and Scotland, Manchester to Hereford. It was a great effort and we even had two customers complete the walk with us,” Paul said. The walkers had a support team who stopped in two pre-arranged places on the route.

“It was good to see the support team just before the second peak and just before the last peak, and we all fuelled up with water and snack bars,” explained Paul.

The Team Celebrate Reaching One of the Three Peaks

“The weather was kind to us, although there was a bit of hail on Whernside, the second peak. The hardest part of the whole challenge was the last four miles. We’d completed Ingleborough and thought we were home and dry, but that last four miles to get to the finishing line just went on and on,” said Paul.

Vanilla Solutions matched the sum raised by the walkers and presented a cheque to the MS charity organisers.

Company director Jason Belcher said: “I was really proud of the team and it was great for us all to work toward such a worthwhile common goal. It was so satisfying to see so many people from across the business pull together and get to know one another better in quite trying circumstances.”

Vanilla Solutions have offices in Newcastle and North Lincolnshire and is one of Europe’s leading providers of IFS applications-related services, offering consultancy, support and products to the wider ERP market.

The 2018 Charity Challenge was completed by:

Paul Darwin, Andy Bell, Chris Wharton & wife Kathryn, James Powell, Jason Belcher, Rachel Belcher, Kieran Garry, Lloyd Briggs, Paul Trownson, Gordon McAlpine, Maria Nikolaidou, Mike Hollifield & wife Alex, Simon Ball & partner Owen.

Vanilla's 2018 Charity Challenge Team